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How to get Picture in Picture for websites on macOS

Picture in picture is a feature found in both Chrome and Safari. The feature doesn’t work for every single media player and Chrome has an extension to make up for most players that won’t switch to PiP mode. If you don’t use Chrome, or you want a non-browser tool that gives you Picture in Picture for websites, you can use a free app called Helium.

Picture in Picture for websites

Helium is a free app available in the Mac App Store. Install the app and run it. From the menu bar, go to Location and select Enter Destination URL. A slider will open where you can enter the URL for the website you want to view in Picture in Picture mode.The entire website will load in Helium.

You will be able to navigate the website like you can in a browser and if you choose to play a video, you can switch over to full screen mode and it will fill the app’s window. The window itself will float on your desktop. You can move it around wherever you like and resize it.

For media players, you will get the full set of controls that they have. The screenshot below features the Netflix player.

Any time you want to navigate to a different website, you can go to the Location item in the menu bar and enter a new destination URL. Helium doesn’t store any sort of history so you will have to enter the URL for a website each time you want to open it in the app.

Helium is meant to give you the ability to watch any web based video in a floating window on your screen but it loads entire websites so there’s nothing stopping you from using it to monitor a live feed of any sort, or pinning a website to the top of your desktop.

The picture in picture mode that browsers have been adding as a feature are geared towards media players e.g., when you want to watch a YouTube video but you’re also working in a different tab. Helium works with apps that are in full screen mode too i.e., the floating window will persist even if you’ve got an app open in full screen mode.

To quit Helium, select its Dock icon and from the Menu bar, select the quit option under the app’s name.

Looking for something similar for Windows 10? Give Compact View a try. It works more or less the same way that Helium does on macOS.

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